Waiting is the hardest part as a patient. Waiting for test results to tell you what type of infection you have this time; waiting for the genetic test results that tell you you are a mutant from your parents; waiting on prescriptions to be approved by the insurance companies so you can just start getting better already; or waiting on the medications to kick in so your pain subsides. I feel like the past week I have been an extremely impatient patient — which inevitably causes added stress and anxiety that just makes everything worse (always a never-ending cycle).
Waiting on blood test results makes me want to bite my fingernails again (but that’s just gross). Last week I let the big bad labs (Quest Labs and LabCorp) take over 10 vials of blood from my arms (yes, they had to poke and prod both arms to get enough for two full sheets of tests). And if that wasn’t enough torture, I got a phone call on Friday that two of the vials were “insufficient” amounts to process. So I had to go back in and give another 4 vials for just this one test.
So now — I just wait. Twiddling my thumbs while the labs determine if my liver is still healthy, how my vitamin D levels are doing since I have been drowning myself in D supplements for a year, what type of infection has caused this neurotoxin to develop, and if my white blood cell count is still stable with 6 months of chemotherapy. Speaking of labs, I have also been waiting on these genetic test results to come back. I guess it takes over 2 months to determine if I have super powers and can fly!
Then there is the process it takes to start a prescription medication (just keep in mind, I am currently waiting on 3 new prescriptions). The doctor has to write the prescription — then I get to research the medication to make sure there is no starch (whether corn or wheat) — and I usually have to order the prescription from a compounding pharmacy since most medications have some sort of starch in them — the special pharmacy has to then order the special medication in pure form and compound it with tree bark (and they usually have to get all of this approved again by the doctor) — and the longest part is waiting on the insurance company (who is opposed to compounding pharmacies in general) to determine if the medication will be covered, if at all. Once all of this is squared away and the medication is shipped, I finally get to start the medication and hopefully start feeling better.
Waiting for medications to work is another thing entirely. At my last doctor’s appointment, I got the go-ahead to increase (actually double) the Methotrexate (a.k.a. chemotherapy) dosage. Basically, my doctor thinks it’s not doing its job if I am still having flare-ups so frequently. But this is not a medication that you can just double and go on with your day. I have to slowly work up to doubling the dosage because it already makes my Sunday a day of pajamas, Netflix movies and gelato to ease the nausea. So over the next 2 months I will be working my way up to the double dose in order to get this pain to subside. This past Sunday was a bit difficult starting up the ladder, but hopefully one more week and I’ll get used to it. We’ll see how this goes…
To top it all off, I went to dry my hair this morning before work and my blow dryer decided to die on me. I almost blew a fuse right then and there! But with wet hair and all, I’m still trying to keep a smile on my face…as I continue waiting…
One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life. – Chinese Proverb
Patience is the companion of wisdom. – Saint Augustine